The 2010 US Air Guitar Championships

July 29, 2010

Okay, folks, this business is real.  And it's serious.

There is a competition for people to demonstrate their air guitar skills.  They are judged on how accurately their fingers play the imaginary notes on the imaginary guitar and for a number of other things as well.  (By all accounts, they do not need to plug their imaginary guitars inot imaginary amps, however).  And there are big prizes and hotel stays and all kinds of fancy schwag for the big-time air guitarers (air guitar artists?  What is the terminology here?)

ESPN provides coverage (granted, it's probably on, like, ESPN 8, but still)

It is worldwide.

There is merchandise.

There are costumes (photo credit: Zach McNees).

People stand in line to buy tickets to these events.

A co-worker of Chris's heard about this competition and said, "Is this for real?  Gee, I was in a band when I was younger and broke, and you mean to tell me that I could have skipped spending all that money on guitars and amps and stuff, and just become a professional air guitar player?"

I'm not judging here.  I'm just saying.

I just wanted to buy some stamps

July 28, 2010

I was in line at the post office today, waiting to purchase some stamps. There were two postal workers at the counter, and only a handful of people in line. It should have been a short wait. Unfortunately, it was apparently the day that all the “special” people fulfill their postal needs, because the entire time I was there, one of the workers was helping the same customer. Shortly after I walked in, the second worker finished helping someone mail a package, and the man in front of me went up to the counter. He had a small CD in a plastic case, which he placed on the counter.

“Can you tell me,” he said in his crochety-old-man voice, “what it would take to mail this?”

The postal lady looked at it and replied, politely, “you would need to get an envelope for it sir.”

“Where can I get an envelope? You-all have them back there?”

“Well we have some along our wall over there for purchase, you could probably get away with one of the small padded envelopes.”

Because I was standing between the envelopes and the crochety old man, I grabbed the envelope in question and handed it to the postal worker.

“How much is it?” he asked petulantly.

“It’s $1.26 sir.”

He became agitated. “ONE DOLLAR AND TWENTY SIX CENTS?! For an envelope?”

“You did ask me how to mail it. I’m just telling you how you can do that.” The postal lady replied, in a surprisingly even and respectful tone.

“What if I just put it in a regular envelope? How much are those?”

“I wouldn’t recommend it, sir. Those are for mailing letters. This one is for mailing packages.”

“All right then, how much’s gonna cost me to mail it?”

“Where are you sending it to, sir?”

“Well, I don’t have the address.”

“Um, so you didn’t want to mail it?”

“No, I just wanted to know how to mail it. And how much.”

“Okay, well I have to have a zip code to tell you how much it’s going to cost. Do you know approximately where it’s going?”

“Michigandia.” There was a pause while the postal lady gave him a blank stare. “You know, lower Michigan, upper Indiana.”

She set the package and the envelope on the scale, typed a few things into the computer and said, “That will be $1.76 to mail your package.”

The man let out an exasperated sigh and put his head in his hands. “One dollar and seventy six cents?” he muttered loudly, looking at the floor.

“Do you want to mail it, or not?” the postal lady responded, still alarmingly polite. “That’s what you have to pay.”

“So that’s, what, $1.76 to mail the package?”

“Well sir, you still would have to buy the envelope.”

“And how much was that?”


The math here was obviously quite beyond him, and the postal lady wasn’t inclined at this point to help him out, so there was another long pause while they both stared at each other.

“Fine,” he said, throwing a five dollar bill on the counter. “I’d like to buy $1.76 in stamps.”

At this point, I had finally met my personal limit on the amount of inane conversation and line-waiting that I could handle for one day. The poor postal lady was still searching through her books of stamps to find some combination that added up to $1.76 when I turned around and walked out, empty-handed.

A delicious, quivering cup of coffee

July 27, 2010

It's funny, but the busier your life is, the less it seems like you have to write about.  I mean, there were cool job things and stressful job things and moving into a new house and traveling to Vegas and Phoenix and San Diego and Phoenix and San Diego and Vegas and Phoenix and Phoenix and... anyway.  So I am filling the space using a trick that the talented Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half once employed: What does Urban Dictionary think of me?  I'll tell you what...

All right, Urban Dictionary. I'm down with that.  I'm amazing and beautiful and I have a high tolerance for dealing with my husb-- ahem, bullshit.  ALSO, I'm "super sexy cool."  All very true things.

Hmmm.  I studied biology and oceanography in college, and this is new to me.  Of course, I did not attend college in Canada.  And as we always tell my boss (who is Canadian), you never know what those crazy canuks will say.

This one is both TOTALLY AWESOME and TOTALLY CREEPY at the same time.  I mean, I'm not entirely comfortable with my name being used as some sort of slang for something you eat.  There's just a little Jeffery Dahlmer in that.  But the description? quivering! delicious! rare! Where can I get this fabled Italian coffee delicousness?  New Jersey?  Well, bummer.  That's a bit far from the west coast.

So my question is this:  can anyone in New Jersey confirm that there is actually a coffee called a krista?

Five Question Friday

July 16, 2010

1. Do you collect anything?
Books.  (Not really intentionally, I just buy them and read them and then never take them to a used book store so they just.. well, pile up.) 

2. Name 3 celebrities that you find good looking.
Aren't most of them?  I thought that was requirement #1, or at least somewhere before requirement #57, "acting skills"

3. Do you have any scars? If so, what's the story behind them?
A dog bite, a bicycle accident, and that one time I was shaving my legs with a new razor blade.

4. What is a food that you like to eat, but others might think it's gross or weird?
I LOVE hummus.  I mean, I lovelovelove hummus.  I could eat hummus all day, every day.

5. Have you ever seen a tornado in real life?
I spent my formative years in Kansas.  What do you think?

Acts of Desperation

July 14, 2010

It should be common knowledge by now that the cat is on a diet.

Which, of course, she hates.

We have an automatic feeder for her, set to go off at 6pm every evening and dispense 1/4 cup of cat food.  Every evening, at 5pm, Maia can be found sitting patiently next to the feeder, and she will sit there for an hour until it makes the magic noise at 6pm which means the food is about to fall into the bowl.

Sometimes, however, she gets a little desperate.  Like a little kid at a candy machine, she knows where the food is -- she can see it -- she just can't get to it.  She has discovered, after months of valiant effort, that if she shoves her paw just far enough into the dispenser, it will release a little morsel or two of cat food.

It is now fairly common for me to come upon the cat, paw and face stuffed into the food opening, looking for just... one... more... morsel...



Making a Cake

July 12, 2010

Reason #1,293 why I will probably not be able to make a career out of cake-baking:


My decorating skills lack finesse.

Small Town Americana

July 10, 2010

As I mentioned earlier, Chris and I spent the Fourth of July weekend up near Flagstaff, Arizona.  We rented a cabin with some friends in the tiny, tiny, town of Parks.

And it turns out, we came just in time to see THE event of Parks... the 4th of July Parade.

I truly, honestly, don't think you could get more small-town cliche than this.  It was quaint.  It was fantastic.

They started the morning with a free pancake breakfast over at the school.  The parade was scheduled for 1pm, and by 11am people were setting up lawn chairs along old Route 66.  There was BBQing and loud country music playing.  There were politicians out campaigning in their fine flannels and cowboy boots and hats, kissing babies and passing out flyers.  There was a community yard sale at the Shell station and a bake sale down the street.  (They donated all the unsold food stuffs to the elderly gentleman that runs the 76 station). 

And yes, in case you caught that, there are two gas stations in town.  Only one of them actually sells gas, though.  The other is more of a mini-mart, selling ice cream bars and beer, canned goods and toiletries, including a bar of dove soap for 49 cents that looked like it had been there since the price of a bar of soap really was 49 cents.

My friend and I rode our bikes down the community yard sale/BBQ cookout/Shell station, and went inside for some water.  As we were paying for our drinks, the man running the cash register got a phone call.

"Yes, the parade starts at 1pm.... it's over about 1:15... no it does not go down any side streets, have you seen any side streets? Where do you think you are?"

He rolled his eyes and smiled as he hung up the phone.  "Tourists."


They probably spent hours decorating

Nearly everyone was wearing some kind of patriotic headband...

The parade is starting!  The parade is starting!

The local sheriff passes out candy to the kids

There were tractors...

And fancy decorated trucks...

And chickens...

And prize-winning llamas...

Old cars

And cowboys

Fire trucks, firemen, and dogs...

And then it was over. Happy Birthday, America. XOXO, Parks, Arizona.

RBD, phone calls, and the dog

July 09, 2010

Chris and I spent the Fourth of July weekend up near Flagstaff, AZ. We decided not to take the pup and arranged for Chloe to stay at a local “pet resort.” We sent over her vaccination info, one of our lovely housemates dropped her off on Friday, and Chris and I made the long haul from San Diego to Phoenix (mini-stop to pack) to Flagstaff. We settled into the rustic cabin and proceeded to have a relaxing holiday weekend .

Saturday night I had a dream that the pet resort had called Chris to inform him that Chloe had been coughing. The pet resort proceeded to tell him that they had taken Chloe to the vet and she was fine, but because they had to drive so far to the vet they weren’t going to retrieve her. We would have to drive back down to Phoenix to pick her up at the vet, or be charged an exorbitant overnight fee for leaving her there.
I woke up shortly thereafter, glad that it was just a dream and we didn’t have to cut the camping trip short to pick up the dog.

Monday morning, we returned home. I picked up a clean and healthy Chloe from the pet resort and returned to the house to unpack the camping gear. About an hour later, I received a phone call. It was a lady from the pet resort.
Pet Lady: Hello, is this Ms. Glam?

Me: Yes, this is she.

Pet Lady: I received a message here, that you were concerned because your dog was coughing?
There was a moment of silence while I processed this information and tried to come to a reasonable explanation for her call. The only thing I could come up with was that somehow, I had thought my dream was real and did a sleepwalking number to the phone and made a phone call while I was asleep.

Me: Uh… really?

Pet Lady: Yes, I got a message from my supervisor, that you called at 2:35 saying that your dog was coughing. Now, I checked with the technicians on staff, and they all confirmed that your dog didn’t appear to be coughing during her stay. I also see that she’s up to date on her Bordatella vaccination, and even then it takes several days for symptoms of kennel cough to show up…

Me: I’m so sorry… I think… I guess I must have called in my sleep? I don’t remember calling, but you see, I had this nightmare where the dog was coughing, and maybe somehow I dialed the pet resort in my sleep? I’ve never done that before but…? This is embarrassing. I’m so sorry for your trouble.
After a few more words, I hung up the phone with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Was I going crazy? Was I suddenly sleepwalking? Did I have some sort of weird psychic moment? What the hell was going on?!
“Who was that?” Chris called from the living room. I went over to repeat the phone call, and after reciting the whole story I looked at him. He looked back at me and gave me a stare that said, I have no explanation either, so don’t look at me for answers.

I started to think this through a little more. First check: phone log. Turns out, neither my phone nor Chris’s phone showed an outgoing call to the pet resort. Not to mention the number was not even stored in either of our phones. Add to that the improbability that I would manage to get out of bed, make a phone call, and have a conversation in the middle of the night in a tiny cabin without waking up my husband – the sleep-dialing scenario was looking less and less likely.

But still, it was the only logical explanation I had. Could they have had the wrong person? I suppose, but they specifically asked for Ms. Glam and mentioned Chloe, without me volunteering the information.
After an hour of antagonizing over my inability to remember having made a phone call to the pet resort, I finally decided to contact the pet resort again. I needed more details. Like, what day was the call made? Saturday? Sunday? And was 2:35 AM or PM? I had immediately assumed AM, thinking it was a middle of the night sleep-dial, but maybe that was not the case. And I certainly would remember calling someone at 2 in the afternoon.
Me: Hello, this is Krista Glam. I spoke with someone earlier, about my dog Chloe?

Different Pet Lady: And what was it regarding?

Me: Well, she said she had gotten a message that my dog was coughing…

Different Pet Lady: Oh, yes. Sorry about that, it was actually meant for another dog. The vet had printed up the message on your dog’s card by mistake.

Me: Really? Because here I was thinking maybe I had called in my sleep
Different Pet Lady: Yeah, she told me about that. She felt really bad for worrying you. But your dog’s fine.

Me: Yes, she’s right here, I can see that my dog’s fine. It was my own self I was worried about!
I hung up the phone and told my husband, “Guess what, I’m not crazy!”

He rolled his eyes and said, “Well, that’s up for debate still, but about the dog-coughing thing, I was never worried. Only you would automatically start confessing to the lady about your weird dream, instead of just assuming it was a wrong number.”